Ural Thomas And The Pain – Tickets – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR – April 14th, 2018

Ural Thomas And The Pain

Portland's own R&B legend

Ural Thomas And The Pain

Eldridge Gravy & The Court Supreme

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

$15.00

Sold Out

This event is 21 and over

Ural Thomas And The Pain
Ural Thomas And The Pain
If life was at all fair Ural Thomas would be a household name, his music slotted into countless sweet, seductive mixtapes between James Brown, Otis Redding, and Stevie Wonder (all of whom Thomas has performed with.) Straddling the line between hot soul shouter and velvety-smooth crooner, Thomas released a few singles in the late 60’s and early 70’s; most notably “Can You Dig It”, which featured backing vocals from soul luminaries Merry Clayton, Mary Wells and Brenda Holloway. Thomas played over forty shows at the legendary Apollo Theater before turning his back on an unkind business and heading home to Portland, OR.

It goes without saying that a man practically built out of rhythm would never stop playing music. Thomas began hosting a regular Sunday night jam session at his home that ran for nearly twenty years. A de facto mentor to many of the younger players, Thomas reminds us all that “If you care about what you’re doing, you need to build those muscles and do the work. Don’t get discouraged, do it for love. Even if you’re digging ditches, do it with passion.”

In 2014, local soul DJ Scott Magee sat in on drums. The two became fast friends and at Magee’s urging Thomas decided to give his musical career another shot. Magee became the musical director, they put together a band, and in 2016 released a self-titled album on Mississippi Records.

In 2017 Thomas signed with Tender Loving Empire and began work on what, in many respects, will be his debut full length. Diving deep into lifetime of melodic creativity, Thomas and his band got to work. Recorded in Magee’s studio Arthur’s Attic, The Right Time features the air-tight work of Magee on drums, percussion, and backing vocals, Bruce Withycombe (The Decemberists) on baritone sax, Portland jazz scene fixture Brent Martens on guitars and vibraphone, Arcellus Sykes on bass, Steve Aman (Lady Rizo) on piano and organ, Dave Monnie on trumpet, Willie Matheis (Cherry Poppin’ Daddies) on tenor sax, and Jasine Rimmel, Joy Pearson, Sarah King, Rebecca Marie Miller on backing vocals. The Arco Quartet performed the strings, and the record was engineered and mixed by Jeff Stuart Saltzman (Blitzen Trapper) and mastered by JJ Golden (Sharon Jones, Ty Segall).

One might think after a sizeable taste of early success Thomas would be more than a touch bitter – yet the opposite is true. “We have to be positive if we want the world to get better” Thomas advises. “We’ve come a long way, but if you carry a grudge with the whole world you’ll stop your growth. We’re a family, all just brothers and sisters, descendants of Adam. You can’t get anywhere without an open heart.”

A developing artist at nearly eighty years old, for Thomas music has always been about bringing people together. “If we play for twenty people we cook it like it’s twenty thousand” says Thomas. “If we make someone smile we’re satisfied. They’re ain’t no difference between us. It’s all love and brotherhood. If folks listen to my record and feel that I’ll feel very blessed.”

Standing in bold defiance of the idea that aging is a reason to slow down and stop living, for Thomas the right time to get down is the next time someone plugs in a guitar or puts on a record. Ural is ready – are you?
Eldridge Gravy & The Court Supreme
Eldridge Gravy & The Court Supreme
ELDRIDGE GRAVY & THE COURT SUPREME is a funk juggernaut. Backed by the hot, gritty orchestration of the 12 member Court Supreme, front man Eldridge Gravy easily works dance floors to a fever pitch with his full-bore performance and smooth rapport with the audience.

The band, like so many of its members, is the product of a wonderful accident. Early in 2006, in what was supposed to be a one-off event, an instrumental band teamed up with a guest singer to learn some James Brown and Parliament covers for a moving-out party. The next morning, the house was torn up; shattered glass lay about, tables were broken, and the landlord was on his way for the final walk-through. In the wake of this carnage, ELDRIDGE GRAVY & THE COURT SUPREME was born.

The group quickly picked up horns, keys, backup singers, and was soon 12 men and women strong. The originals that soon replaced covers were a viscous blend of the songs they cut their teeth on. Sly & the Family Stone, Funkadelic, and James Brown are certainly touchstones, for their sound, but Eldridge Gravy has a distinct sound and persona that's unmistakably their own. While ELDRIDGE GRAVY & THE COURT SUPREME fit in with the recent soul revival heralded by Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, they have also played alongside hip hop crews, balkan brass groups, and scuzzy bar rock bands. Their high energy, tight arrangements, and massive stage presence have the power to convince any crowd that funk ain't dead.

In May 2009, the band released its first album, US IS WHAT TIME IT IS to a sold-out Tractor Tavern. Recorded at Avast! Studios and mastered by Mell Dettmer, the album is a taut collection of hook-filled psychedelic soul and funk that calls to mind Sly’s “Stand!” and The Temptations, circa 1969. In 2010, the band released its first vinyl single, Exceptional—within months it began to enjoy regular play among the DJs of Seattle’s celebrated Emerald City Soul Club, who rarely play anything released after 1976. In summer 2010, the band took its yellow short bus to San Francisco and back for its first tour, and also played Bumbershoot and several other festivals throughout the NW.

ELDRIDGE GRAVY & THE COURT SUPREME released its second full-length album, PARTY HARD, on June 24, 2011, at The Crocodile. PARTY HARD finds the Seattle ensemble delving further into the raw soul and funk sounds they explored on their debut album. The group traverses a wide range of styles, from up-tempo Northern soul stompers (“Into the Sun” and “Grow”) to New Orleans funk (“Bafftub Jim”) to slow-burning psychedelia (“Throat Dry”). The album was recorded and mastered with Mell Dettmer at the esteemed Avast! and Aleph Studios, and will be available on CD and vinyl.